Cafe searching for staff
Quincy University recently has had several snow days, resulting in shortened cafeteria hours for students and highlighting the staffing problems at The Cafe.
Chartwells, the company contracted to run The Cafe, has agreed upon snow day hours with the school. In the contract, the company has automatic shortened hours whenever a snow day is declared. This schedule is similar to the weekend hours, opening at 11 a.m. and closing at the same usual time at 7:30 p.m., but there are no late night extended hours.
Shortened operation hours do inconvenience students, but another issue showcased during the snow days is serious. Chartwells has been struggling to find employees to fill the necessary roles to operate the cafeteria. This jeopardizes the service that the cafeteria can even provide to students, as staff numbers are so low.
“In a normal day we need about 22 people to work, not counting your student workers. And on those days we only had about 14 people that could make it to work,” Chris Blakeman, the senior director of dining services, said.
Blakeman highlighted another aspect of the issue, that even though student workers may show up for snow days too many full-time staff members did not come in. Since there are so few full-time workers when even a couple call off it creates chaos.
Many students do not know the reasoning behind cafe hours or that the cafe is run by a separate entity other than the school. Although some students are mildly irritated by the cafe’s shortened hours, some are impartial to the changes.
“For snow days I stay in and do laundry and homework, I usually just eat in my dorm,” Julianna Clutter said.
She is one of many students who prefer to not leave their residence building during snow days. Students like Clutter are quick to travel to the store for food before snow days so they are fine until the snow storm passes. A majority of students were unknowing that there even is a problem regarding staffing in the cafe.
“Before I started working I did not realize the situation. I mean based on what I have experienced so far, I see only like ten people on shift working. And one just passed away, so there are less hands and they need help. They try to train people in every area now. So like to wash, make sandwiches, prep food, and stuff like that. I have seen like three people interview in the past couple days so they’re trying to get people. Most likely the full time workers have to work even longer hours,” Chadwick Stewart, a new student cafe worker, said.
Currently The Cafe is open to any students who want to apply because of how shorthanded they are. The Cafe is currently one of the few places on campus where a student can get work without having a federal work study.